FBI chief, intelligence officials to testify before Senate panel next week

FBI chief, intelligence officials to testify before Senate panel next week
© Camille Fine

FBI Director Christopher Wray is set to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week for a hearing focused on global threats, the panel announced Wednesday.

Wray will be joined by a slate of top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal MORE, CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoRosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Pompeo rejects ‘good cop, bad cop’ characterization of Russia strategy Pompeo: 'Enormous mistake' for Iran to blame US, allies for attack on military parade MORE, National Security Agency Director Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Former NSA chief refutes report claiming Trump asked him to publicly deny Russia collusion Michigan college Dems sue state over voting laws, claim they discriminate against young people MORE, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo, the committee said. 

While the Feb. 13 testimony is routine — part of an annual hearing intended to examine current threats to U.S. national security — Wray's appearance comes as the FBI faces scrutiny from the White House and some Republican lawmakers who have raised concerns about political bias among agents at his bureau.

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That scrutiny spilled out into the open last week when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a contentious memo alleging that senior FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials misused their authority to obtain a secret surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE moved to approve the memo's release, despite concerns raised by the FBI about material omissions in the document that could affect its accuracy.

Trump claimed on Saturday that the memo "vindicates" him in the law enforcement investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia. 

After the memo was released on Friday, Wray sent a message to FBI employees, urging them to "keep calm and tackle hard."

"Talk is cheap; the work you do is what will endure," he said.

Trump has openly feuded with the FBI throughout his first year in office, accusing the agency of politicizing law enforcement, mishandling the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House MORE’s use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department and calling the Russia probe a “witch hunt.”

Trump fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Gowdy: Declassified documents unlikely to change anyone's mind on Russia investigation Pompeo on Rosenstein bombshell: Maybe you just ought to find something else to do if you can't be on the team MORE in May, citing concerns about his handling of the Clinton investigation. Trump later said, however, that the FBI's Russia probe was on his mind when he made the decision to oust Comey.

Trump has also directed some of his ire at former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Graham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump MORE, whom he repeatedly accused of political bias. Fueling those allegations was the fact that McCabe’s wife received a contribution from a group linked to a Clinton ally during her 2015 campaign for the Virginia state Senate. McCabe resigned last month.

Updated: 4:17 p.m.